Water cannon and mounted police deployed against ultra-Orthodox Jews protesting over conscription case in Jerusalem


Police were deployed against protesters from the ultra-Orthodox community who blocked a motorway outside Jerusalem after a student was arrested for violating military draft laws.

A clip published by the Ruptly video agency shows mounted police and water cannon being used against the protesters.

Activists from the hardline Jewish religious community sat on the ground and crawled under parked vehicles as hundreds blocked traffic on the major Sarei Yisrael-Jaffa intersection in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Officers were filmed grabbing the protesters and dragging them away.

The protest was sparked by the arrest of a 20-year-old religious school student who had failed to report to the IDF recruitment office. The protesters are demanding that the student be released and mandatory military service cancelled.

The Times of Israel quoted police saying that three officers were injured in the scuffles. One of them was struck on the head by a bottle hurled at officers. Two protesters were arrested for public disturbance.

At one point, crowds surrounded a car carrying IDF’s Ground Forces Commander Major General Yoel Strick, who was filmed pulling a handgun out of a bag. Israeli media said police managed to disperse the crowd allowing Strick’s car to leave safely.

תקרית חריגה מאוד במהלך הפגנת הפלג: רכבו של אלוף יואל סטריק – מפקד זרוע היבשה הותקף על ידי מפגינים. האלוף הוציא מתיקו האישי אקדח. מפקד יס״מ ירושלים חילץ אותו pic.twitter.com/OP8JKQz5Vr

— לירן תמרי | Liran Tamari (@liran__tamari) December 22, 2020

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi condemned the assault on Strick and “any kind of violence” against military personnel.

The conscription of ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military is a highly contentious issue in Israel that often leads to protests and political in-fighting.



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